I remember the time in Iramba Parish in Musoma Diocese, Tanzania when I drove in my Toyota truck to the distant outstation of Kemugongo to celebrate the Easter Liturgy during the rainy season. Halfway across a swampy plain the mud became so thick that I had to abandon my truck and walk the remaining one and a half miles in ankle-deep mud during a light rain. I arrived at the outstation chapel wet, dirty and tired. The local Christians ran toward me clapping and dancing with joy. “The Padri has come. We will have Mass,” they shouted.
Immediately I forgot my wet, muddy clothes and my tiredness. I got caught up in the enthusiasm of the people as we prepared to celebrate the Easter Eucharist — Christ’s resurrection which is the central event in our Christian faith. As I looked out at the happy, excited faces in that outstation community I realized in a flash that this is what Maryknoll in mission is all about.